The continuing problems with a private water supply to 16 homes at Dundeugh has left “unqualified” residents treating their own water and attempting to fund a new treatment plant through online crowdfunding.
The issue was raised with the members of New Galloway Community Council, who met last Monday, but, according to a co-opted member, the representative body were not keen to get involved,
Stuart Littlewood said he was frustrated with the situation.
He said: “New Galloway Community Council, knowing about Dundeugh’s problem, could have mobilised help to resolve it long ago, but they refused to intervene. As a co-opted member I’m disappointed to find myself associated with a community council who don’t see it as their responsibility to step in and help resolve the shocking ‘third-world’ water situation at Dundeugh, especially when households affected include elderly folk and young children.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council do test the water at Dundeugh and advise residents to boil water before consumption, but the supply is not its responsibility.
A council spokesperson said: “As this is a private water supply, responsibility for maintaining it lies with the property owners. All eligible properties on this supply (16) have previously received a grant of £800 per property [a total to £12,800] to improve the water supply, including removing lead pipes. The Council’s Private Sector Housing service also awarded a substantial grant towards funding previous improvements.”
A SEPA spokesperson said the Dundeugh situation is “a matter for the local authority’s Environmental Health team.”
In 2014 the water system was upgraded, but residents say there were many issues with the system due to modifications being made, so the company who installed it were allegedly unwilling to warrant the system. Since then, the residents have been responsible for treating the water.
One resident commented: “It appears to me irresponsible that unqualified amateurs, and I include myself amongst them, are allowed to supply so called treated drinking water to some 16 houses. The possibilities for sickness and worse are unlimited.”
Many residents say they did not claim the £800 grant for filtration equipment but passed it back to the council to be entered into the larger grant for a treatment plant.